The Gospel


Wow! Double WOW! Last evening we watched the recap of a local church here in Orchards, WA, of their crusade in India. You, too, can watch it here. I dare you! I’ll warn you, you’ll never be the same again.
Yes, the 17,500 + baptisms were impressive, so was the half-ton of food that they took to a leper colony. But here’s what really impressed me.
Evelyn and I don’t have much, we squeak by on our retirement that seems to be shrinking weekly. We live pretty basically. We are not encumbered by a lot of “things.” All that we own, we carry with us. I have a ruptured disk that gives me almost constant pain, she has a gimpy foot that is recovering from surgery. But we have SO MUCH more than literally millions of people around the world! One poor fellow that they interviewed, lives in a ragged 6’ X 8’ tent that he shares with six others, and has for thirty-six years!
And the lepers! The lepers put my aches and pains to shame. Many of them had contracted it when they were children and when they are my age they are missing hands and feet or facial parts. Yet, a single $150 vaccine , in childhood, would have stopped the leprosy in its tracks.
I just have to limp with a little pain.
It was heartbreaking to watch young mothers trying to give their children to the Crusade members to take back to America for a better life.
I just celebrated Thanksgiving with most of my kids under one roof.
Jesus proclaimed, “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you do for me.”
If you, like me, can’t afford to go to India or some other third-world country (what am I saying? We’re all in the same sinful world), some other nation, find some homeless people here to help.
“Aw, I don’t want to help someone who won’t help themselves or go looking for a job,” you say.
Or, “So many of them are homeless on the streets by choice” I know, I’ve had those thoughts, too. Shamefully, I’ve shared them with others.
I’ve never even visited a homeless shelter.
But you know what? The very Jesus that we worship had a good job for 20+ years before made the choice to go homeless! That was HIS choice. He chose to go homeless in order to be with the broken, the down-and-outers, to bring them the good news of  God’s love, to heal the brokenhearted, to show US what God can with a homeless person. A person that is homeless by choice! Re-live in your mind for a few minutes, the lives of all those great leaders of the New Testament times.  They were ALL homeless by choice! What is it with our society that we expect our preachers of the gospel to own a home and drive new cars?
He told his disciples, “I don’t have a place to lay my head… Come, take up your cross, and follow me.”
Some went back to their lives of fishing later. Again, he pled with them to give up the work for something more rewarding, fishing for the souls mankind.
I’ve been out of work many times, but I’ve always had a home and food.
I’m wondering if the the little that we DO have is too much? It sustains us for our volunteer work, but it is SO WAY MORE than so many others have, that it makes me cringe.
So many in our nation have enslaved themselves to the banks and live such a rat-race life, and they still can’t climb out of debt. One day soon, jobs will be lost and the slavery will end in homelessness. Are you ready? I personally know people that have literally walked away from beautiful homes because they can no longer make the payments. Conservative estimates are that three hundred thousand others across America thought it would never happen to them, either.
Maybe it’s time to get serious about our coming homelessness, and spend more of our time and wealth on sharing the Good News of God, and less time on the treadmill of slavery to debt.
What kind of cross do you carry?

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